Great Smoky Mountains Fishing Report - 02/15/14
Weather has been the main news event of the nation for several days and because I
wasn't exactly happy about it, I plan on continuing to make it the main news event for
the next week. The only difference is, it is going to be good weather news. The high
daily temperatures for the valleys surrounding the Smokies next week will range from
50 to 68 degrees.
I'm sure the cold fronts haven't ended their cycles for the year. They will continue to
come and go, even as late as Easter. The big difference, at least I hope it will be the
big difference, is they won't hang around for a week or two. Within a couple of days
they are usually history.
Smoky Mountain Weather:
Snow showers are forecast for this morning. The temperature is currently dropping
but the good news is the more it drops, the less the precipitation. I don't think it is
going to amount to much. I must confess though. There have been times it didn't pay
me to think.
The high today should be near 39. The total daytime snow accumulation should be
less than an inch and that could be zero. That will not upset me at all.
Sunday will be partly sunny, with a high near 46. NWS Forecast
Smoky Mountain Stream Conditions:
The streams with links have nearby USGS Station Real-time stream data:
Little River: Rate 361 cfs at 2.26 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 250 cfs, and with extra caution up to 400 cfs)
Oconaluftee River: Rate 649 cfs at 2.07 ft.
(good wading conditions up to 500 cfs, and with extra caution up to 700 cfs)
Cataloochee Creek: Rate 146 cfs at 2.75 ft
(good wading conditions up to 125 with extra caution up to 150 cfs)
Little Pigeon River doesn't have a station nearby. Yesterday it looked like it was
near a normal level.
Hazel Creek and the other larger NC streams flowing into Cherokee Lake: My guess
they are getting near normal levels.
Current Recommended Streams
Assuming you will be able to get there, and I think you will be able to do that but
please check with the park, Abrams Creek would be my first choice on the
Tennessee side. Lower Deep Creek, Straight Fork Creek and other low elevation
streams would be the best bet if you wanted to fish the North Carolina side.
Keep in mind the streams are currently rising some from melting snow but that will
cease for a while, and then continue late this afternoon. There is a lot of snow to melt
and this is going to keep the water temperatures lower than they normally would be
relative to air temperatures.
Recommended Trout Flies:
1. Blue-winged Olives:
Hook Size 18
nymphs (this would be the main fly)
2. Midges: Cream
Hook Size 20/22
3. Sculpins: Especially good in off color, high water & early/late in the day
Hook Size 6
White Belly Sculpin
4. Winter Stoneflies: 18/16
Recommended Fishing Strategy:
I would fish the BWO nymph until about 3:00 PM and then switch to a Little Winter
stonefly nymph. The only time I would change that strategy is when and if I saw
something hatching and then I would go to the appropriate imitation of that. Fish the
slow side of any current seams, pockets and pools where there is little to no current. I
am still expecting to see some Little Brown stoneflies on the banks and roads soon. I
haven't but neither have I been in the park the past few days.
Tips for Beginners:
Be careful. Cold water can kill you in more ways than one. A very good explanation
from Princeton Univ.
Tips for the Self Proclaimed Experts:
Sight fishing for a large brown trout may be less boring that dredging the bottom.
Whatever Hits Me:
A good feeling that things are going to improve.
Copyright 2014 James Marsh
More Options For Selecting Flies:
1. Email us with the dates you will be
fishing the park and we will send
you a list of our fly suggestions.
Please allow up to 24 hours for a
2. Call us at 800-594-4726 and we
will help you decide which flies you
3. Call or email us with a budget for
flies and we will select them and get
them to you in time for your trip.
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